We caught up with Sassy Spoon owner-operator Tamara Brown to talk about some of the challenges of gluten-free cooking, and the food she hopes will change the mind and tastes of anyone who thinks it's not a proper meal unless it includes bread.
1. What is your relationship with gluten-free food, and how did you decide to make that the focus of your new food truck?
My background is in nutrition, and I spent the last few years counseling individuals and teaching classes. Through my work with clients, I've found many people, including myself, feel better consuming little or no gluten. For some people gluten is a very inflammatory food. Inflammation has been linked to many chronic diseases, so reducing internal inflammation is a positive thing. Gluten can also affect moods, digestive function, migraines, and skin conditions. I think there are many benefits to reducing the amount of gluten consumed on a daily basis, and I want to provide that option for people looking for GF food.
2. What are some of the items you'll feature on your menu?
Braised beef, cauliflower mash, sweet potato hash, chicken salad and greens, creamy ginger-garlic slaw, black bean wild rice salad, and iced tea.
3. What are the biggest challenges in gluten-free cooking? If you had to find vendors for sauces/condiments/bread alternatives, was it difficult to find ones who had gluten-free options?
Most foods served at Sassy Spoon are naturally gluten-free, but making sure any processed products are gluten-free can certainly be a challenge! One of the biggest hurdles I see is changing the mindset that we need bread or bread products at our meals and snacks. We do not. I'm serving hearty and satisfying foods that will keep blood sugar levels regulated, energy levels high, and sugar cravings low.
4. Where are some of the other places around town that you like to eat--gluten-free or otherwise?
Trotters Cafe, Brasa, Everest on Grand, Birchwood, and Common Roots
5. Where can we find Sassy Spoon?
I will be rolling around St. Paul and surrounding suburbs most days, as well as the Burnsville Farmers market on Thursdays and Apple Valley farmers market on Saturdays.